Monday, July 31, 2023

The con artists exhausted themselves this weekend

 Earlier tonight, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Pride of the Boomers, Pride of the Senate" went up.


Love it.

AJ McDougall (THE DAILY BEAST) reports:

No one is trying to put Hunter Biden’s former business partner behind bars before he can testify in front of a key House committee on Monday—but that hasn’t stopped some Republicans from speculating wildly about the situation following a development in an unrelated court case.
The strange saga began on Saturday when the Department of Justice sent an administrative request to a Manhattan judge asking her to set a date for Devon Archer to report to prison in a case entirely unrelated to his role as Biden’s buddy and longtime international business partner. (Last year, Archer was sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison after being convicted on felony charges of defrauding a Native American tribe. Biden was not implicated in the scheme.)

When I read that, I immediately thought of serial liar Tara Reade and, sure enough, she spent the weekend Tweeting about this 'nefarious plot.' To read her feed was to 'learn' that it was witness intimidation and a "constitutional crisis."  She even reTweeted Marjorie Taylor Greene "The DOJ has gone rogue."  

Tara Reade embraces transphobic, homophobic, racist MTG.  I hope she realizes how far into the sewer she has fallen.

The idiot Jonathan Turley also indulged in the conspiracy theory over the weekend at Twitter.  THE DAILY BEAST article notes:

In a statement to Politico on Sunday, Archer’s own attorney stringently denied any link between the meeting and the timing of the Justice Department letter, and said that his client was still planning to testify before the committee.

“We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” lawyer Matthew Schwartz said.

“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” he continued. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.”

The timing of the letter appears to more closely correspond with an appeals court’s decision last Tuesday to uphold Archer’s sentence. His attorneys previously argued that it was “premature” to set a sentencing date for him before the appeals process could fully play out, according to the Justice Department’s letter.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today: 

Monday, July 31, 2023.  Antony Blinken speaks of Julian Assange and gets pushback for his lies, a US convoy comes under attack in Iraq, the United Nations is concerned by at least one of Turkey's attacks on Iraq, creeps target libraries in the US, and much more.

Starting with the ongoing persecution of Julian Assange. REPUBLIC WORLD reports, "In a meeting focused on military cooperation in Brisbane, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, pushed back against the Australian government's calls to end the pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Blinken insisted that Assange is alleged to have "risked very serious harm to our national security" through his actions."

Julian is being persecuted for the 'crime' of journalism.  Julian Assange remains imprisoned and remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden who, as vice president, once called him "a high tech terrorist."  Julian's 'crime' was revealing the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.

The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat

The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.

The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.

But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.

Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.

Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.

Bernard Keane (CRIKEY) responds to Antony Blinken's claim:

Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, is a liar.

To be specific, his statement at the weekend that Julian Assange’s actions in publishing US cables and defence material “risk[ed] very serious harm to our national security” is a clear, indeed blatant, lie.

Let’s cite the authorities who over the years have confirmed that WikiLeaks’ publication of the Chelsea Manning material, including the Iraq and Afghan war logs, did little or no harm to national security:

  • Barack Obama’s defence secretary at the time of the releases, Robert M Gates: “I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think — I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets … Other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another. Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for US foreign policy? I think fairly modest”;
  • The US Department of Defense in a secret report obtained by Buzzfeed in 2017: no “significant impact”; “disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former US leadership in Iraq”;
  • Officials of Blinken’s department briefing Congress in 2010: “We were told [the impact of WikiLeaks revelations] was embarrassing but not damaging”;
  • US military officials at the trial of Chelsea Manning: “I don’t have a specific example,” when asked to confirm the much-vaunted claim that the releases had placed the lives of US sources in danger.

Blinken knows all this. He worked as an adviser to Joe Biden when the latter was vice president under Obama. Yet he continues to peddle the lie that the Manning material damaged national security. 

Also disputing Blinken, PRENSA LATINA notes, is the president of Mexico:

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has denied several times this lie, as Assange neither did espionage activities, violated laws, nor any of the 18 charges by the US government.

The Mexican leader insisted that the major problem is that Assange told the truth about what really happened in Iraq and other places, uncovered corruption and violation of rights and laws in the United States, so that´s why they want to silence him and punish him for using his right to freedom of speech.

Blinken was in Australia over the weekend.  Why?  Oh, that's why the Australian government won't stand up to the US government, there's a deal involved:

The move is expected to strengthen a central Australian Defence Force framework – Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) – which underpins fundamental assets of the nation’s military including manufacturing, storage and distribution, disposal, and research and development.

By signing the monumental agreement, Australia will be able to both carve its place as a major player in weapons export and also grow domestic stockpiles through on-shore production.

The deal was finalised in a bilateral meet between Defence Minister Richard Marles and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.

That's why Australia won't stand up and demand that Julian be released, a weapons deal is more important to them.

If only there were an Australian blogger who was outrage by what is being done to Julian and who could blog to hold Australia accountable . . .  If there is one, they're unknown in the US.  All that captures our attention or little cry babies who can't call out their own government.

In other news, MEHR NEWS AGENCY notes:

Turkey renewed its air strikes on PKK positions in northern Iraq on Sunday.

Issuing a statement, the Turkish Ministry of Defense declared that PKK positions were targeted during these airstrikes.

News sources also announced that 2 terrorists were killed in the attacks.

Turkish ministry's statement also said that the armed forces of this country continue to fight effectively and decisively against terrorists to eradicate terrorism.

Under the pretext of fighting PKK terrorists, Turkey has deployed its troops in areas of northern Iraq and Syria and is conducting aerial attacks on parts of the northern areas of these countries.

Under the pretext of combatting terrorism, the government of Turkey is carrying out a genocide.  The Kurdish people are under assault in the same way the Armenians were under assault 100 years earlier.  The Turkish government denies the ongoing genocide but they also deny the Armenian genocide so they really don't have a lot of credibility.  Patrick Wintour (GUARDIAN) reports:

Turkish airstrikes that allegedly targeted a civilian hospital and killed eight people in Iraq have been made the subject of a formal complaint to the UN human rights council.

It is the first case to be brought on the issue of Turkish airstrikes against the Yazidi people. The attack on 17 August 2021 destroyed the Sikeniye medical clinic in Sinjar and left more than 20 people injured.

The four claimants, either survivors or witnesses to the airstrikes, say they violated their right to life under international law, as guaranteed by article 6 of the international covenant on civil and political rights.

Further, the claimants allege that Turkey failed to investigate the killing of civilians resulting from the airstrikes and provide victims with effective remedies, constituting a violation of their rights to a prompt, independent and effective investigation under the same covenant.

In other violence, MEHR NEWS AGENCY reports, " A logistics convoy belonging to the US Army was targeted in Iraq's al-Diwaniyah, local sources reported on Monday morning."  This follows, see Friday's snapshot, the news that a US helicopter crashed in Iraq.

Let's turn to the US.

And, sadly, that's not humor from Paul.  It's a true story and QUEER NEWS TONIGHT covered it last week.

Last week, Derrick Van Orden was in the news (see Rebecca's "derrick van orden is a menace") for yelling at teenagers in the halls of Congress.  Derrick was reportedly drunk.  That doesn't excuse him, nothing does.  We bring his vile and disgusting name up because he's done something similar:

On June 17, 2021, Van Orden confronted a teenaged library page at Prairie du Chien Memorial Library in indignation over a display of books with LGBT themes assembled for Pride Month.[16] Van Orden was particularly upset by the book A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, about a fictional day in the life of Marlon Bundo, the real-life pet rabbit of former Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, and the rabbit's subsequent same-sex romance. Van Orden submitted a written complaint to the library that the book was "skewing young people to think that Republicans are not inclusive. This book is not informational, it is propaganda".[17] A staff member described Van Orden as "very uncomfortable, threatening" with "full-on shouting" and "aggressively shoving the books around". He wanted to know who had established the display so he could "teach them a lesson".[16] Van Orden subsequently withdrew all the books on display out of the library and then returned them within a week.[16]

And you can be sure he's masturbated to each one because that's what perverts like him do, masturbate to children's books. 

Speaking of closet cases, Randy Moore.  Daniel Villareal (LGBTQ NATION) reports:

A North Carolina school board censured one of its Christian members for posting an anti-LGBTQ+ image on social media that showed an American figure assaulting an LGBTQ+ figure. The Christian man defended posting the image, saying he had free speech rights to oppose “woke” cultural issues.

The Mount Airy Board of Education held a special meeting on July 10 to censure board member Randy Moore, a U.S. Army veteran who was appointed to the board in January 2021. Moore had posted a Facebook image of a figure in red, white, and blue colors kicking the midsection of another rainbow-colored figure symbolizing the LGBTQ+ community, The Mount Airy News reported.

I think I've seen that image.  I believe it was a Tweet on a flash drive left at my agent's.  It was supposed to contain Glenneth Greenwald's browser history.  I have no idea if it was Glenneth's history or not.  This was noted in "TV: The fork is stuck in her ass and, yes, she's done:"

Sidebar, we were sent what is supposedly Glenneth's browser history.  If it is accurate, he's even more disgusting than we thought.  If it hadn't been sent this morning, we'd be working on that as a story.  Not on the Glenneth aspect -- we don't know whether it's really his browser history or not -- but on the issue that Twitter is platforming hate speech.  This is much worse than what people usually complain about with regards to Twitter.  This is "White power" accounts promoting Donald Trump while ripping African-Americans, gays, trans, Jewish and pretty much everyone.  And to be clear, they're not using terms like African-American or gay.  
It is disgusting and it is appalling and there's no way in the world that Elon Musk is doing his job yet is unaware of these accounts. 
There is a movement to target any group that's a minority.  
Whether it's Glenneth's browser history or not, he is part of that movement.  His statements and his actions make him part of that movement and it's only surprising to you if you haven't been paying attention (we weren't paying attention). 

The drive was filled with all sorts of disgusting images.  People like Randy Moore don't see themselves as gay because they're degrading the "f**got" -- that is the term they use in illustrations and Tweets.  Yes, they're sexually engaged with another man in their Tweets and fantasies but that doesn't make the Randy Moore's gay -- in their minds.  Their hatred for gays (and women who sleep with them) is why there is so much violence in their Tweets and in their imagery.  They're convinced that the road to Donald Trump's re-election in 2024 is finding gay men who are self-loathing and want to serve 'straight' men.  It's disgusting -- and perfectly in keeping with the sort of thing Glenneth would be sexually interested in.  It's also all over Twitter and there's no way in the world Elon Musk is unaware of it.  It's vile and violent and these men attack gay men and attack women.  They're disgusting and Randy Moore being a part of that would make 100% sense.

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  • Saturday, July 29, 2023

    Joe and Hunter Biden

     Joey Garrison (USA TODAY) reports:

    You can end any speculation about a possible Hunter Biden pardon.

    The White House ruled out President Joe Biden using his presidential authority to pardon his son Hunter, who is set to plead guilty to misdemeanor tax and gun charges.

    "No," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Thursday when asked whether there is any possibility Biden would pardon Hunter Biden, putting to rest a theory pushed by conservative critics.

    A plea deal in Hunter Biden's criminal case unraveled in Delaware federal court Wednesday after a judge raised concerns about the terms of the agreement including assurance Hunter Biden's legal team sought for immunity from any other criminal charges.

    President Biden has given no indication that he planned to pardon Hunter Biden, but that hasn't stopped some on the right from suggesting he might. Former President Donald Trump issued pardons and commutations to multiple political allies including Stephen Bannon and Roger Stone.

    Where I stand?  If President Biden says he is not going to pardon his son, I believe him.  Not everyone I know is so kind or trusty.  My oldest son says that just means he would use something else instead of a pardon -- clemency, for example.  My granddaughter Tracey says she believes Mr. Biden would pardon him and then tell the public that he himself never said he would not and that his spokesperson spoke without his permission.

    What do you think?  

    I could be wrong but that is where I fall on this: If the President said he would not do it, then I believe he would not do it.

    Crazy Jonathan Turley is trying to 'adjust' to the news having already written his column about how President Biden would pardon his son and then announce he was not running for re-election. 

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Friday, July 28, 2023.  A helicopter crashes in Iraq (a US helicopter, in case you weren't paying attention before), protests outside the banks, RFK Junior tries to spin a likability poll into how someone plans to vote, a church is attacked, and much more.

    Starting in Iraq, FIRST POST reports, "A military helicopter from the U.S.-led coalition crashed on Thursday in northern Iraq while making an emergency landing attempt, the coalition said in a statement, adding that no one was hurt."  THE NEW ARAB notes the official reason being given for the crash is an " in-flight mishap" -- which, of course, could be anything from a blown fuse to having been hit with missile.   THE CRADLE provides this context:

    A widely held view among Iraqis is that the US helped ISIS grow in Iraq and Syria to weaken and divide both countries. The US then sought to maintain influence in Iraq by joining the fight against ISIS once it was initiated by the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Iraqi army, with the strong support of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

    ISIS was defeated and lost its territory in Iraq in 2017 and Syria in 2019. However, remnants of the group remain and carry out attacks from time to time in both countries.

    US officials cite the ongoing presence of ISIS as a pretext to maintain forces in both Iraq and Syria.

    Currently, there are nearly 3,500 US troops and coalition troops in Iraq who train and advise local security forces.

    The US coalition forces are stationed at bases shared by the Iraqi military, including the Ain al-Asad base in Anbar, Camp Victory near Baghdad's international airport, and Harir airbase in Erbil, the IKR capital.

    In other news, financial unrest leads to protests in Iraq.  AP reports:

    Dozens of people protested in front of the Central Bank of Iraq in Baghdad and bank owners called for official action to stem a sharp increase in the dollar exchange rate Wednesday, after the United States blacklisted 14 Iraqi banks.

    Over the past two days, the market rate of the dollar jumped from 1,470 dinar per dollar to 1,570 dinar per dollar. The jump came after the US listed 14 private Iraqi banks among banks that are banned from dealing with US dollars due to suspicions of money laundering and funneling funds to Iran. 

    The currency fell after new action by the US government to curb the flow of dollars to sanctioned Iran. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the US Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York barred 14 Iraqi banks from dollar transactions. Restriction on US dollars limit the currency's supply, thus boosting its value against the dinar. 

    The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York did not respond to Al-Monitor’s request for comment.

    The Central Bank of Iraq issued a statement in response to the news, saying the barred banks can still conduct business in Iraqi dinars. The Central Bank also said that these banks only constitute 8% of foreign transfers, according to a statement.

    The dinar’s depreciation led to protests in Baghdad outside the central bank on Wednesday, with people demanding government intervention to prevent the currency from falling further.

    ALJAZEERA notes, "The protests outside the central banks were organised by the Thuwar Tishreen (October Revolutionaries), a group that started mass protests in 2021, calling on the government to take action to halt inflation."

    Let's turn to the US and let's zoom in on the pathetic.  A friend of several decades is someone I often rag on and I'm not going to name him today but I've probably done so before, so if you figure it out, good for you.  But when he reads this, I didn't name you in this.  So my issue with him for years has been that he's the male Joan Crawford onscreen.  I find his films formulaic but, most of all, I don't like them because he's Joan Crawford.  Now I like THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, for example, it's a great film noir.  But all the suffering and all the melodrama needed to elevate Joan above everyone else in the cast is present in his films and so is the victimization that is the hallmark of the average Joan Crawford character.

    I bring that up because I finally get why the right-wing is so obsessed with masculinity.

    I get it.

    It's because they have none.

    They have no strong men.  They only have strong shoulders -- shoulder pads -- because they're an army of Joan Crawfords.  They can't stop playing the victim.  

    It's there in Ronald DeSantis crazed attack on the world, it's there in pathetic Jason Aldean who secretly edited the video recently to take out some of the more objectionable parts and wants to pretend like it's the same video that's been airing this whole time and that he's the victim.

    It's so bad even Mona Charen is calling him out in her syndicated column (briefest up to speed for those who don't know Charen, no one would ever call her "left" or even "center"):

    And it’s notable that some awfully famous images of rioters attacking an iconic American landmark, desecrating the American flag and spitting on cops — those from Jan. 6 — didn’t make the cut. 

    Asked if he would play the song even after the controversy, Aldean took refuge in the familiar pose of victimhood. Because he’s being criticized, he thinks he’s being “canceled.” Gushing about his “bada—” fans, he whined that “Cancel culture is a thing ... which means try and ruin your life, ruin everything.” Of course he would perform the song, he declared, because “the people have spoken and you guys spoke very very loudly.” So matters of decency get decided by plebiscite? 

    Look, Aldean imagines that he is merely standing up for the “feeling of a community that I had growing up.” But if he really was raised with good values, where is the fellow feeling? Where is the sense of community with other Americans who may not be from the same town but are just as worthy of respect and consideration as his high school buddies? If this were really a call to community, he would have included at least one or two images of Americans who weren’t white or rural. Don’t we expect all Americans to honor their neighbors and compatriots? Isn’t that part of what being “raised up right” includes? Don’t rural people reach into their wallets when hurricanes or tornadoes hit cities and vice versa? 

    Aldean’s defense is fatuous. The music video is belligerent and divisive. In this age of ugly partisanship, the cheapest clicks can be purchased with us-vs.them incitement. It’s unworthy. Don’t try that in a good country. 

    When I read her column and thought of how pathetic Aldean is, I thought of how pathetic Jonathan Turley is who uses social media to divide the country constantly and can always be found inciting attacks on DISNEY, Bud Light, Target and anyone objecting to Aldean's racist video.  

    They play the victim because that's how they see themselves.  It's why they're so enraged.  It's why they attack everything.  They're not men, if they're lucky they're boys.  But they're not men.  A Joan Crawford character was many things but it was never a man -- not even in JOHNNY GUITAR.

    If you're not getting it, go to YOUTUBE, search "REASON" and pull up that nonsense outlet's interview with victim Matt Taibbi.

    Did you know that poor Matt is so troubled and so hurt and it's all because, grasp the tissue, he refused to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 and, sob, sob, he didn't get on board with Russia-gate.  The left turned on him!  The left turned on him!!!!

    Grow the hell up, you fat f**k.  You're the most spoiled brat in the world -- and it shows in that creepy baby face.  Have you been out in the sun ever?  To be fat and have that skin?  We're talking THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS grotesque.  

    And most of the left does not care one way or another who you voted for in 2016.  

    Hillary Clinton, in 2016, wanted to be Barack Obama in 2008 which is why she ran such an awful campaign.  It was inauthentic and it relied on celebrities.  Not only did she not photograph with them as well as Barack had -- it's an issue of body types and an issue of crips lines in the clothing -- Hillary didn't have it -- but it just never rang real and only reminded people of other times when she'd come across fake thereby daily playing to her weaknesses and elevating her negatives.

    But here's the thing, Matty, speaking out against Hillary didn't cost you a damn thing.

    I was opposed to Barack.  I knew, from Elaine and my meeting him before he was in the US Senate, that he had no plan to end the Iraq War.  He made that clear which is why closed our check books and left the fundraiser.  We had planned to max out because we were -- and remain -- against the war.  But when we got our face time and raised Iraq to this 'anti-war' person and he told us it didn't matter anymore because "we" were in Iraq now, we left.

    Barack didn't end the war.  He didn't even ever pull out all US troops.  There was a drawdown -- as the Pentagon rightly termed it -- not a withdrawal.  And we had noted that Barack would send troops back into Iraq -- if elected president -- and we'd done that by looking at the raw interview NYT did with candidate Barack as opposed to the garbage filth they published.  He said very clearly -- but they didn't put it in the article -- that he was fine with pulling troops out and with putting them back in.

    ISIS was his excuse for that in 2014.  

    That's probably not going to cause anyone to spew their coffee today.  But the media was for Barack at the time.

    And he was a very popular president.

    We went campus to campus speaking out against the war before he was president and we did it after.  And telling the truth, especially in the weeks and months right after the election?  People didn't want to hear that.  They wanted to believe that the war was over, all the US troops were coming home, blah blah blah -- Hillary had a funny on that in 2008 ("the heavens will open . . .").  

    Point being, you tell the truth.  If you have any integrity, you tell the truth.

    I did.  I was booed.  Didn't bother me, didn't make me cry.  It wasn't the first time I'd ever been booed.  I know how to work a crowd and, each time, was able to turn it (the booing) into a joke so we could laugh together and them move back to the topics and reality at hand.

    I think if that had happened to Matt, 15 years later, we'd find him still seated on that stage in a pool of his own urine as he sobbed.

    Grow the hell up.

    You chose a position.  Are you happy with what you chose to fight for?  Then you won.  Stop the whining.  Stop pretending you're a victim.  

    And stop pretending that you're transphobia isn't the reason most people hate you today.

    You actively courted the right-wing and you served them.  You betrayed yourself as a journalist -- hell, even Glenn Greenwald told THE VANGUARD that he wouldn't have agreed to the terms you did to get access to The Twitter Files.  You are an embarrassment.  You are a goober.  You are this fat, ghostly white sloth that is physically repugnant.  

    You're a grifter and people caught on.

    No, there was no excuse for you to be attacked in a Congressional committee and we defended you on that.  But you're not eleven years old, grow the hell up.

    If these pathetic right-wing males could, we'd have a better world.  But too many of them are nursing perceived hurts and feeling victimized.  How pathetic.

    Did someone say RFK Jr?

    He's begging money again.  He's trying to sell the latest Harvard-Harris poll as a win.  He's moved nothing and he thinks that's a victory.  "I'm the same as I was last month," he brags.  

    The numbers aren't increasing, are they?  Not the numbers of people who support you.  You had name recognition and you've failed to build on it.  

    And the poll doesn't say what he wants it to.  In the campaign e-mail, the campaign's insisting that it means he would be president if the election were held today.  That's not what it means at all.  This was not an issue of who would you vote for?  That question was not asked -- which is why various people listed -- such as Hillary -- are people who aren't even running for office.  He's such a liar.

    When conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. isn’t busy spouting racist and antisemitic trash, he can be found campaigning for a clearly doomed 2024 Presidential nomination. And the way he’s doing it…not exactly the most creative approach.

    Over the weekend, RFK Jr. spent some quality birthday time with his son Conor, who recently celebrated his 28th birthday. But while Kennedy Jr.’s blatant attempt to cash in on his son’s abs might seem like an obvious move out of the wacko candidate’s playbook, it’s not quite working as intended.

    Let’s be clear: Conor is a fine-looking gentleman, and yes, those abs could certainly have launched a thousand ships in a simpler time—in fact it’s rumored that Taylor Swift’s 2012 Red track “Begin Again” was written about the socialite. Still: nobody’s biting, and for good reason.

    Basically…it’s giving classless. It’s giving desperate. It’s giving…please just stop.

    What does it say to you?  To me, it just emphasizes how Junior's always been a little thinner on the right side of his face -- as though that side didn't develop normally.

    + RKF, Jr. during his “Combatting Antisemitism, Championing Israel” event in New York City: “Israel has…Israel is not going to use their nuclear weapon unless they’re attacked and we know that.” In fact, I’m pretty sure we don’t know that.

    + Every nuclear state is a terrorist state, using the threat of its arsenal to bully non-nuclear states into submission. Moreover, Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s nuclear power plant in 1981 was a kind of nuclear strike, given the amount of highly-enriched uranium released by the attack.

    + At nearly the same time RFK, Jr. was “championing Israel,” Tamir Pardo, the former head of Mossad, told an Israeli radio station that the Israeli right is similar to the KKK.  Pardo said that many of the Israeli government’s legislative initiatives are tantamount to “antisemitic laws,” and would be labeled as such were they passed in any other country.

    + RFK, Jr. to Greta Van Susteren: “I’m the only one who has called for Biden to retract the $2 billion payment he’s giving to Iran, which you know will be used for genocidal purposes.” How can Dennis Kucinich continue to front for this maniac?

    [. . .]

    + Ron DeSantis has now fired one-third of his paid campaign staff. Among the terminated was Nate Hochman, the communications staffer who made and Tweeted out a pro-DeSantis video with Nazi imagery.

    + People generally like their kid’s school, which may be one reason the smoke from DeSantis’s scorched-earth campaign against them is blowing back in his face. According to a recent Gallup poll, 80% of parents said they were somewhat or completely satisfied with their child’s school, which in most cases was public. This approval rating was actually a little higher than in most years before the pandemic.

    + As part of its public school “turnaround” vision plan, the Houston Independent School District–the largest in Texas– is shutting down 28 school libraries and turning them into disciplinary centers.

    + Eleven paragraphs deep into Nicholas Kristof’s interminable NYT column arguing that legacy admissions for the offspring of privileged elites aren’t a problem, we are confronted by this staggering parenthetical admission: “(Conflict alert: I was a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers and my wife, Sheryl WuDunn, is currently a member and previously served on the Princeton and Cornell boards; our three children also attended Harvard.)” I wonder how many people leapt that hurdle and kept reading for any reason other than the laughs, which, otherwise, come so infrequently in his writing.

    + Political punditry is the sub-basement of journalism. For a year or more, the opinion pages were flush with columns promoting DeSantis as the rational alternative to Trump, when really his only political skill is his viciousness. Even Trump could occasionally feign compassion. Now DeSantis is getting whacked by Christian conservatives for assailing Trump’s meagre criminal justice reforms.

    + DeSantis said this week that while he wouldn’t pick RFK Jr as a running mate, he would consider him to be in charge of the FDA or CDC “if he’d be willing to serve.” Maybe DeSantis will tap Ammon Bundy to run the BLM…Looks like he’s going to need the money.

    Lastly, let's see what all the attacks from Ron DeSantis, MTG, Lauren Boebert, Jonathan Turley, Matt Taibbi, Moms For Bigotry and so many more are now resulting in.  Caroline Radnofsky and Colin Sheeley and Eric Carvin (NBC NEWS) report:

    Authorities in Plano, Texas, are investigating what they call "an intentionally set fire" at a Unitarian Universalist church Sunday, just weeks after it was targeted for criticism in a video by an anti-LGBTQ Christian YouTuber.

    A passerby spotted flames coming from the Community Unitarian Universalist Church early Sunday, Plano Fire-Rescue said in a statement. The fire was around the front door and was extinguished quickly, causing no injuries, it said.

    The department is leading the criminal investigation into the fire, with the city's police department working on its own investigation, authorities told NBC News.

    The church called the incident "a firebomb attack" in a statement on its Facebook page, saying "an incendiary device with a chemical accelerant was thrown or placed at the front doors of the main church building."

    It also referred to the visit from right-wing content creator Bo Alford, who goes by "bodittle" on social media, less than a month earlier.

    "Church officials have been reviewing building security and working with the Plano Police Department since the intrusion of a hate group in the church building during and after Worship Service on Sunday, June 25. That group has posted video of their activities inside the church on various social media sites."

    The following sites updated: